Pennsylvania is starting the process of replacing its voting machines. And at the state Farm Show complex this week, election administrators and the public got a chance to see what the new ones might look like. The display comes soon after Governor Tom Wolf handed down a mandate that all counties upgrade their election equipment by the end of next year, leaving officials scrambling to figure out how to afford it. Most of the current election machines are totally electronic. That became a point of concern in the wake of the 2016 elections, when federal officials told the state that the system had been targeted by hackers.
The new options vary, but all would produce a paper trail–making election results easier to verify.
The federal government is chipping in around $13.5 million for upgrades. But Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Robert Torres estimated new machines would retail between about $100 million and $150 million.
That leaves counties to foot the rest of the bill, and many say it won’t be easy.